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Oilers elevate Warren Foegele to top line for Game 4 of Stanley Cup Finals

Edmonton Oilers Warren Foegele
Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
It turns out the lines from Friday’s Edmonton Oilers practice were nothing but a smokescreen.
As the team hit the ice for Saturday night’s do-or-die Game 4 against the Florida Panthers, Warren Foegele was doing so on the Oilers top line alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman. Evander Kane is out of the lineup for the second consecutive game.
Foegele has played with McDavid in spurts in the past, including 102 five-on-five minutes during the regular season. They were strong together, controlling 57.14 percent of the shot attempt share, and 62.58 percent of the expected goal share, but had been outscored 6-5. Their numbers were sunk due to a .867 save percentage, according to Natural Stat Trick. 
With Foegele bumped up, it meant that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was dropped down a line to play alongside Leon Draisaitl and Dylan Holloway. Edmonton’s third line remained the same from Game 3, with Adam Henrique centring Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown. The Oilers fourth line will see Derek Ryan centre Ryan McLeod and Corey Perry.
Edmonton’s blue line stayed the same, with Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard manning the top pair, Darnell Nurse and Philip Broberg on the second pair, as well as Brett Kulak and Cody Ceci on the third pair.
On Saturday, Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said he was hoping the team could do something special in the coming days.
“I think the message has been to enjoy it and I’ve been saying that message, but I think they have been feeling that also,” he said. “Hopefully Zach Hyman can write a storybook about this when it’s all said and done.
“I think it’s an excellent opportunity for us. I said before if I’m going to do this, this is the group. I just think they’ve got a lot of confidence. They don’t get too rattled about things, and there’s frustration, but I don’t know if it’s frustration, or disappointment that we are down 3-0. We’re going to make the most out of it.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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